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Sonja de Groot, Linda J. Valent, Richard Fickert, Babette M. Pluim, and Han Houdijk

Purpose:

To determine the relationship between outcomes of the shuttle wheel test (SWT) and peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) during that test and whether SWT and VO2peak can discriminate between different skill levels of wheelchair tennis players.

Methods:

Fifteen wheelchair tennis players performed an SWT on a tennis court while VO2 was measured continuously. Outcome measures were VO2peak and achieved stage. Relations between outcomes and Dutch wheelchair tennis ranking were calculated with Spearman correlation. Independent t tests were used to test for differences between national and international players.

Results:

Moderate correlations were found between VO2peak and SWT outcome (r = .40–.47). The tennis ranking correlated weakly with VO2peak (r = –.35) and strongly with SWT outcome (r = –.80). A significant difference was found between national and international players for achieved stage (P = .027) and VO2peak (P = .027).

Conclusions:

The SWT outcome only explained a small part of the variance in VO2peak among players, so it cannot be considered a valid test for aerobic capacity. However, SWT outcomes are related to the skill level of the player and give a good indication of the overall peak wheelchair performance.

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Vicky L. Goosey-Tolfrey, Sonja de Groot, Keith Tolfrey, and Tom A.W. Paulson

Purpose: To confirm whether peak aerobic capacity determined during laboratory testing could be replicated during an on-court field-based test in wheelchair rugby players. Methods: Sixteen wheelchair rugby players performed an incremental speed-based peak oxygen uptake (V˙O2peak) test on a motorized treadmill (TM) and completed a multistage fitness test (MFT) on a basketball court in a counterbalanced order, while spirometric data were recorded. A paired t test was performed to check for systematic error between tests. A Bland–Altman plot for V˙O2peak illustrated the agreement between the TM and MFT results and how this related to the boundaries of practical equivalence. Results: No significant differences between mean V˙O2peak were reported (TM: 1.85 [0.63] vs MFT: 1.81 [0.63] L·min−1; P = .33). Bland–Altman plot for V˙O2peak suggests that the mean values are in good agreement at the group level; that is, the exact 95% confidence limits for the ratio systematic error (0.95–1.02) are within the boundaries of practical equivalence (0.88–1.13) showing that the group average TM and MFT values are interchangeable. However, consideration of the data at the level of the individual athlete suggests that the TM and MFT results were not interchangeable because the 95% ratio limits of agreement either coincide with the boundaries of practical equivalence (upper limit) or fall outside (lower limit). Conclusions: Results suggest that the MFT provides a suitable test at a group level with this cohort of wheelchair rugby players for the assessment of V˙O2peak (range 0.97–3.64 L·min–1), yet caution is noted for interchangeable use of values between tests for individual players.

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Rafael E.A. Muchaxo, Sonja de Groot, Lucas H.V. van der Woude, Thomas W.J. Janssen, and Carla Nooijen

The classification system for handcycling groups athletes into five hierarchical classes, based on how much their impairment affects performance. Athletes in class H5, with the least impairments, compete in a kneeling position, while athletes in classes H1 to H4 compete in a recumbent position. This study investigated the average time-trial velocity of athletes in different classes. A total of 1,807 results from 353 athletes who competed at 20 international competitions (2014–2018) were analyzed. Multilevel regression was performed to analyze differences in average velocities between adjacent pairs of classes, while correcting for gender, age, and event distance. The average velocity of adjacent classes was significantly different (p < .01), with higher classes being faster, except for H4 and H5. However, the effect size of the differences between H3 and H4 was smaller (d = 0.12). Hence, results indicated a need for research in evaluating and developing evidence-based classification in handcycling, yielding a class structure with meaningful performance differences between adjacent classes.